Another Success for SpaceX’s Falcon 9

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Another successful and breath-taking drone ship recovery and night launch of the Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, Of Course I Still Love You and its Block 5 booster passenger did their best to leave before the announced Hurricane Florence which is at the heels of SpaceX’s East Coast recovery fleet strikes.

Just in time

Carolinas and Virginia are the targets of Florence, and Falcon 9 left just in time as it could have been hit in 24 hours, along with the tugboat and the drone-ship carrier. The entire equipment is safe and so is the mission all until the hurricane changes its trajectory.

In case of Falcon 9 B1049 and drone ship OCISLY, the Hawkl tugboat can try and rescue them with a pulling speed of only 7 knots (~8 mph) contrary to Hurricane Florence which is moving towards the West of America at 13 mph. Its speed can change in tandem with the energy it gets. SpaceX is not concerned about this situation yet, but they secured the recovery rocket booster just in case. In order to do so, they used the Octagrabber, a robotic tool.

How is Falcon 9 doing?

Half a day after landing, Falcon 9 has reached 75 miles under its belt, and it should crest Port Canaveral’s horizon East in the morning of Wednesday. This gives the technicians of SpaceX a window of 24 hours time for securing the rocket or in case Florence veers South heading Cape Canaveral the rocket should be moved in a hurricane-rated building over the next two days.

Fortunately, the risk is not considered high, but everything should be planed in advance as the company would not like to lose their $30-40 million piece of rocket hardware which might be reusable in case of hazards.


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